Workers compensation is designed to help workers recover from work-related injuries without suffering financial hardship, but the system isn't perfect for every situation. If you're expected to recover in a few weeks without realistic disability concerns, it's perfectly fine for getting a (potentially painful or uncomfortable) vacation. If your injuries aren't likely to heal within a year or may cause lifelong challenges, you need to plan for compensation immediately. Here are a few workers compensation and extended compensation concerns to help you understand what to expect and what to demand.
What Does Workers Compensation Pay?
Every state has a different set of rates, but many states pay workers compensation at around 66 2/3%. A good example at the expected compensation rate is South Carolina's weekly payment chart.
Your employer should have already been paying workers compensation insurance, as required in most states. In a legitimate situation, there's nothing that the business needs to worry about as far as filing workers compensation claims; they've already paid their dues, and the money that the state pays you is money they don't have to pay.
Why Would An Employer Not File A Workers Comp Claim?
The only reason for an employer to not file an insurance claim is a clerical error or covering up wrongdoing -- and that wrongdoing usually isn't the accident itself. Even if the employer were absolutely at fault for an accident, workers compensation is a great way to make an employee less likely to start a legal challenge.
Be very suspicious if your workers compensation claim hasn't been filed. You may receive medical bills in some states depending on how the medical or insurance companies choose to report their work, but you shouldn't be receiving any collection calls or be denied care. If any of this is happening and if you're not getting proper pay, contact the workers compensation office and an attorney immediately.
If you're the employer and you feel that a worker may be committing fraud, keep in mind that you have the right to request a medical examination by other medical professionals to protect your best interests. An attorney can help both employers and employees keep everything legitimate.
Pushing For Greater Compensation
Workers compensation is usually lower than your usual paycheck. If you're barely making ends meet already, don't assume that you have to deal with it; workers compensation offices have programs to either augment your pay or put you on the fast tract for social services such as food assistance, utility assistance, or social security.
If you were injured by gross misconduct or poor practices of a third party vendor, both you and your company need to consider bringing the vendor to court. This can be done for companies providing faulty safety equipment, malfunctioning machinery, or even construction companies if their work contributed to the incident.
Contact a workers compensation attorney to discuss your situation and plan out a map for getting all the compensation you need.